By Russell Shor. Reprinted by special arrangement.
Forty years ago diamonds and gemstones were rocketing in price on a boom the likes of which no one had ever seen before. $50,000 for a one-carat D flawless! I was a newbie back then and dealers were telling me that price was cheap. $100,000? $200,000? per-carat. That was more like it, they said.
The grading & certification lab HRD Antwerp is gearing up for a major restructuring with a fresh vision on the future. Its parent company, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), has approved the revitalization strategy proposed by HRD’s new CEO Ellen Joncheere, who was hired a month ago to turn the company around and appears ready to take the bull by the horns. “HRD Antwerp urgently needs to adapt to a changing environment if it is going to grow," she says.
The United Kingdom has become one of a handful of nations to take proactive steps to protect diamond jewelry buyers from confusing sales labeling, thanks to a collaboration between the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) and UK Trading Standards. The NAJ has announced a guide for correctly labeling different diamond jewelry types accepted by Trading Standards to stop customers feeling duped.
Tiffany & Co. launched its first-ever men's collection, Tiffany Men's, in October with a launch party in Los Angeles. They have now set up a Men's Pop-Up Shop on East 57th St. in New York City. The pop-up shop is open from December 5 through January 6.
Barely a week after Jeweller Magazine reported Michael Hill (MHI), the jewelry retailer operating 312 stores in Australia, New Zealand, Canada as well as selling jewelry online, made misleading claims in its marketing by describing their lab-grown diamonds using terms as “real”, “genuine” and “authentic”, the company has changed its messaging.
The De Beers Group has created a new booklet to clearly differentiate between two "entirely different" products, with two entirely different value propositions, which now form part of its product portfolio: natural and laboratory-grown diamonds.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) has announced that Jean-Marc Lieberherr has decided to step down from his role as CEO at the end of his current contract period on 31 December 2019. Lieberherr served a leading role at the DPA since it was formed in December 2015, initially as its first Chairman, then as its CEO. His replacement, David Kellie, who has held senior positions at Ralph Lauren and Watches of Switzerland, will join the organisation in December 2019.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) has launched what they are calling "an unprecedented, cinematic telling of the natural diamond story" from their genesis billions of years ago to their final destination as a piece of finished jewelry. Sporting the taglines "Three Billion Years in the Making" and and “Before There Was Life, There Were Diamonds”, the campaign focuses on the improbable and epic formation of these rare stones. "The majority of consumers are unaware that diamonds are the oldest thing they will ever touch or own," says DPA CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr in a statement.
It is no secret that since De Beers stopped shouldering the promotional burden for the diamond industry more than a decade ago, investment in category marketing has steadily declined. The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) was created a couple of years ago, but by their own admission their efforts alone are not enough, and more funds are needed.
Russian diamond miner Alrosa has created a brand - Luminous Diamonds - to a promote a characteristic that is prevalent in their diamonds: fluorescence. In doing so, it is seeking to create a niche for its natural stones by marketing the added value fluorescence can bring to diamonds when seen in the proper light, so to speak.
An annual tradition, industry veterans Chaim Even-Zohar and Pranay Narvekar present the 2018 iteration of The Tacy Diamond Pipeline, with an in-depth look at the impact that the rise and acceptance of laboratory-grown diamonds has had on the industry this past year.
Is the goal of Lightbox to lower the price of lab-growns?
The issue of terminology concerning laboratory-grown diamonds has in recent years been a subject of significant debate, deliberation, conflicting guidelines and warnings issued.
Russia's Alrosa is the world's largest diamond miner by volume, yet the company has largely flown under the radar in the United States, the world's largest diamond market. Rebecca Foerster, head of the company's North American division, is on a mission to change that, and she says Alrosa's sustainability initatives are the key, according to Richard Feloni of Business Insider. Further, the company's transparent mine-to-retail value chain is an easy sell for American retailers seeking to assuage their customers' desire for responsible supply chains.
The Lab Grown Diamond Council (LGDC) was launched today in New York with the objective to develop and implement a multi-tiered, international communications program designed to increase the awareness of, knowledge about, and demand for laboratory-grown diamonds. The LGDC was formed by jewelry industry veterans Chris Casey, the former National Jeweler publisher who will serve as president, and Michael Barlerin, who also heads the Silver Promotion Service and will be its chairman.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which investigates allegations of deceptive advertising, sent eight letters to jewelry marketers warning them that some of their online advertisements of jewelry made with simulated or laboratory-created diamonds may deceive consumers, in violation of the FTC Act. The organization warned that failure to follow the Guides may result in enforcement actions if the FTC determines the companies engaged in unfair or deceptive acts or practices.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) has launched a new e-learning program for diamond retailers, entitled “Behind the Brilliance of Diamonds.” Developed to help all US retailers, the hour-long program - split into 3 informative modules – offers educational material and quizzes, going beyond the 4Cs to highlight the intangible value of natural diamonds.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) yesterday announced the third wave of the Real is Rare, Real is a Diamond campaign. Entitled ‘For Me, From Me’, the campaign is inspired by the natural diamond industry’s strongest growth engine, women self-purchase, which today represents one-third of all diamond jewelry sales in the US, a $43 billion diamond market that grew +4% in 2017, according to De Beers Group data. The $10 million–$15 million campaign will include digital, print, television, and out-of-home components. Its videos will debut during E!’s Oscar coverage on February 24.
In 2014, I wrote that the lab-grown diamond industry was out-promoting the natural. That is even more pronounced now. I don’t get many pitches from natural diamond companies. And some of the pitches I do get are kind of dull. By contrast, I get at least two or three pitches on lab-grown diamonds a week. My Facebook feed is inundated with ads for lab-grown companies. The man-made segment claims only a single-digit percentage of the market, but it appears to be doing an outsized percentage of the marketing ...
Multiple forces seem to be conspiring against the diamond industry these days, and if mining stocks are any indication, the wider market takes a pessimistic view of its prospects. But as independent analyst Paul Zimnisky explains in his latest analysis, "Don’t Give Up on the Diamond Industry Just Yet", to take this attitude as a foregone conclusion is to underestimate the resilience of the industry as a whole and overlook not only the enduring intangible value of diamonds, but also the impact of what may well become their much more tangible rarity.
RZ Murowa Holdings Ltd. (RZM), majority owner and operator of Murowa Diamonds, has joined the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), making it the eighth diamond mining company, and first new member, to join the DPA since it's launch in 2015. The DPA was created in 2015 to protect and promote the integrity and reputation of diamonds. Murowa Diamonds operates the Murowa mine in Zimbabwe, which was purchased from Rio Tinto in 2015 and expanded significantly under its new leadership. Manit M.
Ethics: it's "More than a PR issue!" The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), a non-profit working to improve the lives and working conditions of artisanal and small-scale miners in Africa, issued a response to the recent decision by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on synthetic diamonds and how it could impact the market for artisanally-mined diamonds.
"Brand Russia, at this particular point in time, is not particularly strong overseas." David Ferguson, retail analyst in Moscow
“Mine to market is becoming very popular.” Sergei S. Ivanov, CEO, ALROSA
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) has announced that former Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) President Peter Meeus will take over as head of its World Diamond Mark (WDM) marketing program.
In celebration of the launch of its spring campaign, "Believe In Dreams", as well as their largest new jewelry collection in nearly a decade, “Tiffany Paper Flowers”, Tiffany and Co. has transformed its corner of New York City with its iconic blue hue. Tiffany & Co's marketing blitz took a New York icon, the city's famed yellow cabs, and painted them with the brand's trademark robin's egg blue.
Signet CEO Virginia 'Gina' Drosos recently spoke with Yahoo Finance about digital marketing and millennials, providing some candid perspectives about the thought process of the retail giant. Perhaps her most ringing comment, however, was about laboratory-grown diamonds.
The line-up of European Regional Supporters of the 2018 FIFA World Cup has been completed today as Russia’s ALROSA, a giant in the world diamond mining industry, joined Alfa-Bank, Rostelecom and Russian Railways, according to a statement from the football organization. As part of their deal with FIFA, ALROSA has been granted brand association rights for the region and promotion rights on social media. They will be featured on LED boards in all stadiums during the tournament and benefit from product exposure in selected areas of the FIFA World Cup venues.
Helzberg Diamonds has announced a "focused effort on innovating its marketing strategies," naming Ellen Junger as its new chief marketing officer and Carmichael Lynch its new advertising agency of record. Junger previously served as chief customer and marketing officer role for Payless ShoeShource.
According to an interview with Diamond Producers Association (DPA) CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr, the Antwerp-based category marketing organization set up by seven leading diamond mining companies (ALROSA, De Beers, Dominion Diamond, Gem Diamonds, Lucara Diamond, Petra Diamonds and Rio Tinto) in 2015 expects to have $70 million to spend in 2018, up from $57 million in 2017. Having focused mainly on the U.S.
In their attempt to position synthetics as responsible alternatives to diamonds, many manufacturers have been propagating misleading, outdated, and inaccurate information about the diamond industry. This information ignores the significant changes which have occurred in the diamond sector over the past 15 years.
Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO of Diamond Producers Association
Jewelers of America (JA) released the results of their US “Fine Jewelry Industry Consumer and Retail Market Study” conducted by Provoke Insights. The study surveyed two groups, the retailers and the consumers, and Michelle Graff listed some of the key findings.
I am bullish on the future of the diamond business. Three reasons for this optimism ... new discoveries, extending mine life and the increasing demand for diamonds.
- Martin Leake, independent diamond consultant, former head of sales at Grib Diamonds, interview @ Rough-Polished
“People have long bought flashy items because they made them feel good. Now some say those same items make them feel icky,” wrote JCK’s Rob Bates. According to a recent New York Times article a percentage of affluent consumers are moving away from the ‘If you’ve got it, flaunt it’ stereotype. Some even consider their wealth a burden, going as far as hiding the price tag of their recent purchases.
Alrosa’s President, Sergey Ivanov, has joined the board of the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), the Russian miner announced on Monday. Ivanov will replace the position vacated by the former Alrosa VP, Andrey Polyakov, before he left the company.
Independent analyst and consultant on diamonds and the mining industry, and publisher of the Zimnisky Global Rough Diamond Price Index, Paul Zimnisky has published an in-depth article on the current state of lab-created diamonds and where the industry goes from here. Reprinted from Paul Zimnisky Diamond Analytics, courtesy of Paul Zimnisky.
Currently, the Federal Trade Commission is considering letting the term 'cultured' be added to these currently accepted descriptions of man-made versions, such as 'lab-created' or 'laboratory grown'. The mined-diamond industry is fighting this addition tooth and nail, while the man-made producers are intent upon dropping any reference to 'laboratory created' or 'laboratory grown' in favor of 'cultured' alone ... In the end it's marketing that is going to make or break the cultivated-diamond industry’s potential to disrupt the natural-diamond market ...
The De Beers Group today announced it will invest more than $140 million in marketing this year - its biggest spend since 2008, when the Group was spending an estimated $100 million annually. The increased investment will be focused on generating further consumer demand for diamond jewellery in the leading markets globally, with the greatest spend targeted in the US, China and India, the company states.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA recently announced that it has renewed the contract of Vice President Yury Okoyemov, who has been in charge of the Russian diamond miner's sales policy for eight years. Okoyemov is one of the authors of ALROSA's current system of selling rough diamonds, focused on long-term contracts. This system was introduced after the financial crisis of 2008-2009, when the auction sales that ALROSA previously focused on virtually stopped.